Severe flooding in Scotland over the weekend has been compared to the Beast from the East, as the extreme weather continues to cause disruption. 

A number of railway lines and roads are closed and two severe flood warnings remain in place after some parts of Scotland were hit with a months' worth of rainfall in a day. 

And the Met Office has since announced a yellow weather warning for more heavy rainfall expected to hit the west coast of Scotland on Tuesday (October 10). 

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has 52 flood warnings still in place, as well as eight flood alerts and two severe flood warnings in Aviemore/Dalfaber and in basement properties from North Inch to Friarton Bridge, Perth.

Police Scotland said communities “faced some of the most challenging conditions ever”, after 10 motorists were airlifted to safety on Saturday (October 7) due to landslides on the A83 in Argyll and Bute, which dislodged 2,000 tonnes of debris.

Another four people were airlifted in Kilmartin, Argyll and Bute.The weather has been compared to the Beast from the East, a cold snap in February 2018 which caused chaos in Scotland, after some regions experienced a month’s rainfall in 24 hours.

Road closures after flooding in Scotland

A number of roads remain closed in Scotland after the extreme weather over the weekend. They include:

  • A83: Road closed due to landslide and flooding on the A83 both ways from Crianlarich turn off to Inveraray Castle turn off. Closed past and beyond the Rest and Be Thankful.
  • A9 at Dunkeld: Road blocked due to flooding on B898 both ways between the A827 and the A9.
  • A92: Road closed due to flooding on A92 both ways between the A913 and A91 (Melville Lodges roundabout).
  • A81: Road blocked due to flooding on A81 both ways between Cobleland and Trossachs Holiday Park.
  • B757: Road blocked due to flooding on B757 Birdston Road both ways between A803 Kilsyth Road and A891 Antermony Road.

Train cancellations after flooding in Scotland 

ScotRail has announced the following services will not be able to run on Monday (October 9) following the heavy flooding. 

  • Edinburgh/Queen Street - Inverness
  • Queen Street - Aberdeen/Dundee/Perth & Arbroath
  • Inverness - Kyle of Lochalsh
  • Aberdeen and Dundee services will start at and terminate at Dundee
  • Queen Street - Aberdeen, shuttle service will run between Perth and Montrose
  • Inverurie - Dyce services teminate at Laurencekirk

'Beast from the East'

Head of transport resilience at Transport Scotland, Stein Connelly, said: “It’s been an extremely challenging 72 hours, with perhaps some of most difficult conditions we’ve experienced since the Beast from the East.

“In terms of Argyll, the area around the A83 Rest and Be Thankful saw a month’s worth of rainfall, around 160mm, fall over 36 hours. Only a small amount of debris has reached the road at the Rest and Be Thankful itself.

“Safety inspections are now under way, and teams are on site to begin clear-up operations once it is deemed safe to do so.”

The Herald: The flooded Dell sports field in Kingussie near Aviemore. The flooded Dell sports field in Kingussie near Aviemore. (Image: Jane Barlow/PA)

Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Tim Mairs said: “Communities across Scotland have dealt with some of the most challenging conditions they have faced.

“While the picture is gradually improving, we are still dealing with flooding, a number of road closures and hazardous driving conditions due to surface water, so I would remind people to please exercise caution on the roads.

“The situation in Argyll and Bute remains extremely challenging, with a number of main routes closed. In that area I would urge people to consider if their journey is really necessary or if it can be delayed until conditions improve further.”

'The impacts are ongoing'

Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Home Affairs Angela Constance said: “The rainfall we have seen over Scotland this weekend has been extreme, causing significant disruption – particularly in the west and north of the country.

“These impacts are ongoing, and I want to put on record my thanks to all the staff and volunteers responding across the country.

“The flooding risk remains a key concern over the next few hours and days, with extremely high river levels and saturated ground."

She said the priority is now to restore "normality as far as possible" by Monday morning, and urged anyone planning to travel over the next few days to take caution.

The Herald: Paddle boarders are seen on a flooded football pitch in the North Inch area on October 08, 2023 in Perth, ScotlandPaddle boarders are seen on a flooded football pitch in the North Inch area on October 08, 2023 in Perth, Scotland (Image: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Aviemore in the Highlands remains at “severe” risk of flooding, while red alerts were issued by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) for Findhorn, Nairn, Moray and Speyside, meaning buildings were at risk of collapse and there was a danger to life.

Amber alerts issued by Sepa remained for Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City, Argyll and Bute, Central, Dundee and Angus, Easter Ross and Great Glen, Skye and Lochaber, and Tayside.

Tyndrum, west Perthshire, was hit by 112.6mm of rain, according to the Met Office.

Sand bags and road closures were in place in Kingussie near Aviemore, the Highlands, amid a severe warning, while a Tesco car park at Oban, Argyll and Bute, was overwhelmed by floodwater, and bus passengers were said to have taken refuge overnight at Lochgilphead High School, also in Oban.

Local authorities were setting up refuge centres on Sunday evening (October 10).

'The risk to life remains'

Flood duty manager for Sepa, Vincent Fitzsimons, said: “It’s a day to stay alert, not stand down. The risk to life remains.”

Communities in northern Scotland were told rivers could continue to rise, particularly the Spey and Tay.

Ruth Ellis, Sepa’s flood duty manager, said: “There is still deep standing water and really it’s important people understand the danger.

“Not only is flood water likely to be dirty, 30cm of fast flowing water can move an average family sized car, and just 15cm of fast flowing water could be enough to knock you off your feet."